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OPERATIONAL P-40s in JAAF combat service!!

 
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OPERATIONAL P-40s in JAAF combat service!! - 3/18/2013 3:52:38 AM   
el cid again

 

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Japanese Captured P-40



The official reason the IJAAF HQ decided to use Curtiss P-40E Warhawks operationally in the defense of occupied Rangoon is not known. However, this unusual circumstance has now been well documented.

Sam TAGAYA translated the pertinent information from, "A-AH, HAYABUSA SENTOTAI" (A-ah, Hayabusa Fighter Unit) by Yasuhiko KUROE (Posthumously), Kojinsha Tokyo:1969, pp 246-248:

"During the Spring 1943 Air Offensive in Burma, on March 21, 1943, a mission was flown against Feni Airfield by 21 heavy bombers (Sally II) and 15 fighters (Oscar II), the planes returning at night. The heavy bomber formation which headed toward Rangoon were fired upon by friendly anti-aircraft batteries around Rangoon, since the ground air defenses had not been properly alerted to the approach of the returning bombers which had changed the air base to which they were going to land.

'Not only that, but from Mingaladon Airfield, a unit of our forces equipped with captured P-40s took off to intercept. In the darkened sky, a tragic exchange of friendly fire took place. By the time they realized what had happened, some of the heavy bombers had force-landed after being hit by the friendly fire.'"

[N.B.: Yasuhiko KUROE, 3rd Chutai Leader of 64th Sentai, was one of the leading aces of the JAAF. Hata & Izawa credit him with 30 victories. In his Osprey book, Henry SAKAIDA credits him with 51, second only to Hiromichi SHINOHARA. KUROE was drowned in a fishing accident in November 1965.]

That this event actually occurred is officially recorded in other Japanese official records. Sam continues;

"Boeicho Kokan Senshi (aka "Senshi Sosho") Vol. 61 Burma, N.E.I. Area 3rd Air Army Operations, PP 284-286 gives more concrete details:

'12 aircraft of 12th Sentai and 9 of 98th Sentai, under escort from 15 fighters of 64th Sentai led by Capt. KUROE attacked Feni No.1 Airfield. Upon return, 98th Sentai and the 1st and 2nd Chutai of the 64th Sentai landed at Magwe. 12th Sentai and 3rd Chutai, 64th Sentai (directly led by KUROE) headed for Toungoo. But Toungoo was under attack from enemy aircraft at the time, and the formation was diverted to Hlegu. KUROE and his Oscars did not catch that radio message. They waited until the enemy raid was over and landed at Toungoo North. When 12th Sentai neared Hlegu, they were suddenly illuminated by searchlights and were attacked by fighters. The aircraft of 3rd Chutai Leader, Capt. Shigeo IWAHASHI, with sentai-cho Col. YOSHII onboard, was hit and crash-landed at Mingaladon. It hit an earth bank, broke its fuselage and the tail flew off. Four crewmen were killed in the crash and Capt. IWAHASHI and two others injured. Col. YOSHII was unhurt. Two other aircraft of IWAHASHI's formation were also hit and force-landed at Hlegu, but there were no casualties among the crew. The rest of the aircraft landed safely at Hlegu and Mingaladon.

The fighters which attacked IWAHASHI's formation were from a unit equipped with captured P-40s formed for the aerial defense of Rangoon.'"

Until recently, there was no knowledge of the unit to which this flight of impressed P-40s was attached. Researcher and author Edward ("Ted") YOUNG ("Air Commando Fighters of World War II," Specialty Press:2000) made the following revelation;

"Some years ago I found a reference to captured P-40s in the Royal Air Force records at the Public Records Office in London. File Air 40/2172 had a translation of a captured diary of a mechanic assigned to the 12th Sentai. The diary recorded the following entry for March 11, 1943, when the mechanic was at Alor Star in Malaya:

'At noon a formation of 3 P-40s flew over and landed. They are being moved by air as part of a new chutai [shotai ?] which is being formed to take part in the Burma operations. The 50th Hikosentai mark was on them.'

I assume he was referring to the 50th Sentai's 'lightning bolt.' Sadly no comment on colors, or where the P-40s came from."

Below is a provisional rendering by Don MARSH of the Curtiss P-40E as it may have appeared if assigned to No.2 Hiko Chutai, No.50 Hiko Sentai. Someday, a photograph of one of these Warhawks in operational Japanese service may surface.

The supreme irony of the foregoing is that at least six hapless Sallys of the No.12 Hiko Sentai should have fallen victim to Hawks over Rangoon on two separate occasions. AND, that the second time they came under Warhawk fire, the bullets were fired by Japanese pilots flying captured Allied fighters!

Sam TAGAYA wryly concludes, "It seems Curtiss's products continued to shoot down Japanese bombers no matter who was flying them!"
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RE: OPERATIONAL P-40s in JAAF combat service!! - 3/18/2013 12:42:09 PM   
General Patton


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Nice. Good info. Did'nt know the Japanese captured any allied aircraft that were repairable and flyable. great info for history buffs.
Cheers

(in reply to el cid again)
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RE: OPERATIONAL P-40s in JAAF combat service!! - 3/18/2013 12:44:24 PM   
spence

 

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I think it would be really cool if the IJ Player had one or more units that shot down his own planes. Why isn't it in the game?

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RE: OPERATIONAL P-40s in JAAF combat service!! - 3/18/2013 12:45:19 PM   
General Patton


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Cont. They must have captured them in the Phillipines (uh spelling). Had all sorts of spare parts from the hawks damaged or caught on the ground.

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RE: OPERATIONAL P-40s in JAAF combat service!! - 3/20/2013 10:09:56 AM   
Terminus


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Yes, Cid... Don't swoon now...

The majority of the aircraft were captured in the DEI.

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We are all dreams of the Giant Space Butterfly.

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RE: OPERATIONAL P-40s in JAAF combat service!! - 3/26/2013 12:50:39 PM   
m10bob


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Go to the threads for the original WITP...Near the top (IIRC) you will find a section of resources begun by me..Pics of those captured planes are there..

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=1057910

< Message edited by m10bob -- 3/26/2013 12:53:05 PM >


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RE: OPERATIONAL P-40s in JAAF combat service!! - 4/3/2013 5:44:01 PM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: General Patton

Nice. Good info. Did'nt know the Japanese captured any allied aircraft that were repairable and flyable. great info for history buffs.
Cheers



It has long been known the Japanese captured and restored to flight status about 5 B-17s from Dole Pineapple Plantation (aka Cagayan on Mindinao
in AE). These were repainted in Japanese colors - to prevent being shot down by friendlies - and used to test the Ki-44 interceptor during its development. The Ki-44 was optimized for killing B-17 class bombers. Problem was, they were not able to deal with the B-29. It was so fast it could only be engaged head on, and so fast, its slipstream tended to destroy the Ki-44!


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RE: OPERATIONAL P-40s in JAAF combat service!! - 4/3/2013 5:50:21 PM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

I think it would be really cool if the IJ Player had one or more units that shot down his own planes. Why isn't it in the game?



Actually - on the first day only - and also very late in the war - RHS has an ALLIED RTAF squadron which can - and often does -
kill Japanese aircraft. Most of the war, RTAF aircraft fly on the Axis side - and are so marginal they don't do very well if pitted
against first line opposition. But on the first day - when RTAF DID resist - a one day only squadron exists under Allied control -
and it can be used both in air combat or ground attack. In Test 8A, an ALLIED RTAF Hawk III destroyed an axis fighter on the ground.
Also, the historical number of RTAF fighters lost on that day is deducted from the RTAF inventory which appears 21 days later - after
Thailand becomes an ally of Japan. Late in the war, Free Thai forces form, and include a renegade fighter unit made of defectors -
which really did happen. Appearing on Ceylon, it goes where the Allies want, and can engage any sort of Axis forces a fighter unit
may engage. FYI.

We also have just introduced Allied I-16s in Axis service - there were about 35 such. Captured in China, of course.

These planes have proper air art.


(in reply to spence)
Post #: 8
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